A Helluva Town: Encores! Launches New Season with On the Town

By Andrew Gans
19 Nov 2008

Christine Borle and Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jessica Lee Goldyn and Tony Yazbeck, Leslie Kritzer with Justin Bohon, and Michael Cumpsty with Andrea Martin
Christine Borle and Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jessica Lee Goldyn and Tony Yazbeck, Leslie Kritzer with Justin Bohon, and Michael Cumpsty with Andrea Martin
Photo by Joan Marcus

The classic Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden-Adolph Green musical On the Town kicks off City Center's 2008-2009 Encores! season Nov. 19. Urinetown Tony winner John Rando directs the limited engagement, which runs through Nov. 23.

The cast is headed by Tony Yazbeck (Gypsy, A Chorus Line) as Gabey, Christian Borle (Legally Blonde the Musical, Spamalot) as Ozzie, Justin Bohon (Oklahoma!, All Shook Up) as Chip, Jessica Lee Goldyn (A Chorus Line) as Ivy, Leslie Kritzer (A Catered Affair, Legally Blonde the Musical) as Hildy Esterhazy, Jennifer Laura Thompson (Urinetown, Wicked) as Claire DeLoone, Andrea Martin (Young Frankenstein, My Favorite Year, Oklahoma!) as Madame P. Dilly, Michael Cumpsty (Copenhagen, 42nd Street) as Pitkin W. Bridgework and Julyana Soelistyo (Golden Child) as Lucy Schmeeler.

The company also includes Lawrence Alexander, Andrea Beasom, Kristine Bendul, Tanya Birl, Angie Canuel, John Carroll, Rachel Coloff, Michael Cusumano, Susan Derry, Emilee Dupre, Autumn Hurlbert, Ryan Jackson, Mary MacLeod, Monica L. Patton, Adam Perry, Steve Schepis, Geno Segers, Charlie Sutton, Kevin Vortmann, Price Waldman, J.D. Webster and Ashley Yeater.

On the Town, which features music direction by Todd Ellison and choreography by Warren Carlyle, is part of the citywide Leonard Bernstein 90th birthday celebration, Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds. Carlyle has re-created Jerome Robbins' 1944 choreography of "New York, New York," "You Got Me" and "Times Square Ballet."

The design team comprises John Lee Beatty (sets), Martin Pakledinaz (costumes), Clifton Taylor (lighting) and Tom Morse (sound).



"Set in wartime 1944," On the Town, according to press notes, "chronicles the adventures of three sailors on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City. Their fabulous day-long journey is spurred by a search for sailor Gabey's dream girl, 'Miss Turnstiles.' Along the way, each sailor falls in love with a woman, and with New York City itself."

Based on an idea by Jerome Robbins, On the Town features music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The musical opened at the Adelphi Theatre December 28, 1944, directed by George Abbott with choreography by Jerome Robbins, and ran for 462 performances.

John Rando won the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for his staging of Urinetown. He has also directed the Broadway productions of The Wedding Singer, Dance of the Vampires, A Thousand Clowns and The Dinner Party. He was the assistant director for Broken Glass.

Warren Carlyle's New York credits include Juno (Encores! at City Center), Stairway to Paradise (Encores! at City Center), You Again (NY Fringe), Working (Zipper), Slut! (ATA), Roundabout 40th Gala 2006 and the first 24 Hour Musicals at the Public Theater. As associate choreographer, he has contributed to The Producers (Broadway and film), Oklahoma! (Broadway) and "Center Stage" (film).

Show times are Wednesday-Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 and 8 PM and Sunday at 6:30 PM.

For tickets call (212) 581-1212 or visit www.nycitycenter.org. City Center is located in Manhattan at West 55th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

*

The Encores! season will continue with Music in the Air (Feb. 5-8, 2009) and Finian's Rainbow (March 26-29, 2009).